Thursday, January 24, 2013

REVIEW+EXCERPT: "ONE FOR THE MONEY" (Stephanie Plum, #1) by Janet Evanovich

Title: One for the Money
Series: (Stephanie Plum, #1)
Author: Janet Evanovich
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: June 13, 2006
Genres: Mystery, Humor
Reviewed by: Books4Tomorrow
Source: Purchased
My star rating: 5/5


One Fine Mess
Welcome to Trenton, New Jersey, home to wiseguys, average Joes, and Stephanie Plum, who sports a big attitude and even bigger money problems (since losing her job as a lingerie buyer for a department store). Stephanie needs cash - fast - but times are tough, and soon she's forced to turn to the last resort of the truly desperate: family...

One False Move
Stephanie lands a gig at her sleazy cousin Vinnie's bail bonding company. She's got no experience. But that doesn't matter. As does the fact that the bail jumper in question is local vice cop Joe Morelli. From the time he first looked up her dress to the time he first got into her pants, to the time Steph hit him with her father's Buick, M-o-r-e-l-l-i has spelled t-r-o-u-b-l-e. And now the hot guy is in hot water-wanted for murder...

One for the Money
Abject poverty is a great motivator for learning new skills, but being trained in the school of hard knocks by people like psycho prizefighter Benito Ramirez isn't. Still, if Stephanie can nab Morelli in a week, she'll make a cool ten grand. All she has to do is become an expert bounty hunter overnight - and keep herself from getting killed before she gets her man...


I’m probably the last person alive who hasn’t read the Stephanie Plum novels yet. However, this won’t deter me from gushing about it and adding my voice to the millions who are absolutely gaga about this series. If I could rate this book a hundred stars instead of merely five, I’d do it with a smile. It had absolutely everything I love to read about in books to make it what I consider the ultimate read. I enjoyed the movie, but of course, I enjoyed the book far more.

So with no further ado, here are my top ten reasons why you should get this book and move it to the number one spot on your to-read list. Here goes:

10. It had a shocking twist at the ending which is nearly impossible to predict.

9. The story ends on a high note that leaves you smiling and desperately wanting to read the other eighteen books in this fabulous series.

8. It is loaded with nerve-wracking, nail-biting action and suspense, and even has a scene with a car exploding.

7. Stephanie Plum is a lifelike character with flaws and a fantastic personality. You know when bad things happen to good people? Yep, happens to her in spadefuls, but she takes it in her stride and you can’t help but root for her all the way. She’s so incredibly likeable and real, and she refuses to stay down. Showing courage in the face of danger and having an awesome sense of humor, are only two of her best qualities.

6. Then there’s Joe Morelli – the supposed “bad guy”…and oh boy, he is tantalizingly delicious! To top it all he’s got a wicked smart mouth on him that causes you to want to slap him upside the head as soon as the butterflies in your tummy has settled down and you finally manage to get your breathing under control again.

5. Stephanie’s family is a laugh a minute - especially her grandmother. She alone is worth getting this book for all the laughs you’ll get from her character. Trust me, she’s a treat! There’s a scene with grandma, a roast chicken and a stray bullet at the dinner table…I couldn’t stop laughing!

4. Although Stephanie and Joe weren’t written as the two main characters who inevitably fall in love somewhere in the first few chapters of the book (as most books go), they have a sizzling love-hate attraction to each other – which, for me, made their run-ins so much more interesting and enjoyable. In lieu of the absence of romance, the chemistry between them was continually crackling with electricity. All the scenes in which they interacted, I constantly wished for them to fall into each other’s arms – which is so unlike me as I really don’t care much for romance in books. They’re such an unlikely pair although their personalities complement each other to make them work well together. I love that the author didn’t match them up as a couple, and instead shaped these two characters in such a way that the reader begs for them to end up together.

3. There’s no love triangle – hooray! In fact, there wasn’t even a smidgen of romance I had to suffer through. The author cleverly lured me into wanting them to be a couple by making me feel the sexual tension between these two exceptional characters, but not in an explicit way.

2. Have I mentioned Joe Morelli is to die for? He sure as heck is the ultimate bad boy us girls all fantasize about. Seriously, other than Eric Northman from the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris, I’ve never lusted after a character as much as I did this one.

1. My number one reason I’m begging you to read this book (in the unlikely event I’m not the only person who hasn’t discovered this magnificent series yet) is because there’s a multitude of reasons, which I can’t mention here without giving any spoilers, you’ll love this book. If you want a book with a story that gets your adrenaline pumping, get butterflies doing crazy loops in your tummy, and at the same time make you laugh until you have tears streaming down your face, then this is the perfect read for you. This book has everything. OK, maybe not everything per se, because romance fans might feel slightly disappointed, but I’m not a romance fan so I thoroughly enjoyed this book. In all honesty, I was relieved to finally come across a book which can stand all on its own without the dreaded love-triangle and angst-ridden instant-love rubbish that seems to be the foundation of so many books today. Janet Evanovich clearly knows how to engage the reader with her relaxed but fun and sassy writing style, and has proven you don’t need your two main characters to fall irrevocably in love to have a phenomenal story. I’m definitely going to read all the books in this series.


I wanted to get away from Morelli and regroup. “I'm going home.”

“Good idea,” he said. “Where's your car?”

“Stark Street and Tyler.”

He flattened himself at the side of the door and took a quick look out. “It's okay.”
My knees had stiffened up, and the blood had dried and caked on what was left of my pantyhose. Limping seemed like an indulgent weakness not to be witnessed by the likes of Morelli, so I forged ahead, thinking ouch, ouch, ouch but not saying a word. When we got to the corner I realized he was walking me all the way to Stark. “I don't need an escort,” I said. “I'll be fine.”

He had his hand at my elbow, steering me forward. “Don't flatter yourself. I'm not nearly so concerned about your welfare as I am about getting you the hell out of my life. I want to make sure you leave. I want to see your tailpipe fading off into the sunset.”

Good luck, I thought. My tailpipe was somewhere on Route 1, along with my muffler.
We reached Stark, and I faltered at the sight of my car. It had been parked on the street for less than an hour, and in that time it had been spraypainted from one end to the other. Mostly Day-Glo pink and green, and the predominant word on both sides was “pussy.” I checked the plate and looked in the back seat for the box of Fig Newtons. Yep, this was my car.

One more indignity in a day filled with indignities. Did I care? Not a whole lot. I was numb. I was becoming immune to indignity. I searched through my bag for my keys, found them, and plugged them into the door.

Morelli rocked back on his heels, hands in his pockets, a grin beginning to creep to his lips. “Most people are content with pinstriping and a vanity plate.”

“Eat dirt and die.”

Morelli tipped his head back and laughed out loud. His laughter was deep and rich and infectious, and if I hadn't been so distraught, I'd have laughed along with him. As it was, I jerked the car door open and rammed myself behind the wheel. I turned the key in the ignition, gave the dash a good hard smack, and left him choking in a cloud of exhaust and a blast of noise that had the potential to liquify his insides.


One for the Money by Janet Evanovich has 8 873 reviews on Goodreads. Read it here.



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